News for NMU Employees

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Board Sets Room and Board Rates

The NMU Board of Trustees today approved housing and dining rates for the 2014-15 academic year. The annual cost of a standard double-occupancy room and the “constant meal pass” option will be $8,742, an increase of $254 to offset inflationary cost increases for utilities, food, health care and contractual compensation.

For this and other action from today's meeting, read the Full Story


Faculty Retirement Incentive Offered

The NMU Board of Trustees today approved a Faculty Voluntary Early Retirement Incentive Program. The program is being offered to faculty members 62 and older who have at least 10 years of service to the university. Sixty-five individuals are eligible. Full Story


Two Earn Distinguished Faculty Awards

Judith Puncochar (Education, Leadership and Public Service) and Michael Strahan (AIS-Library) are the 2014 NMU Distinguished Faculty Award recipients at NMU. Full Story


Senate Passes General Ed Proposal

The general education proposal passed the Academic Senate on April 22 and will be forwarded to Paul Lang (Academic Affairs) for his consideration. The senate voted on the general education piece with its eight measurable learning outcomes. It also voted separately on new university graduation requirements that students demonstrate competencies in written English and mathematics. These two will join the existing world cultures and lab science requirements. All pieces were approved with minor revisions that need to be incorporated in the final proposal sent to the provost. Full Story


Students, Inmates Collaborate on Projects

NMU participated in the Inside-Out Prison Exchange Program for the first time. The international effort provides opportunities for students in and out of prison to have “transformative learning experiences” that emphasize collaboration and dialogue as they address crime, justice and other social issues. Marquette Branch Prison approached NMU’s criminal justice department about implementing the program locally. NMU students met weekly with inmates at the prison and worked on proposed projects they displayed at last week’s closing ceremony (pictured).

The projects included mailed DVD messages for family members, backpacks/school supplies for inmates’ children, post-incarceration employment, shelter dog training/adoption and employment training and transition. Full Story


Team_wide.jpgEmployee Awards Presented

NMU employees were honored for years-of-service milestones at the faculty and staff recognition luncheon on April 22. Distinguished Team and Excellence in Service Awards also were presented.

The team award went to the group who coordinated data between the NMU Foundation Banner modules and the payroll Banner modules for automating payroll deduction pledge payments. Full Story


Gender Working Group Formed

A Gender Working Group has been established at NMU. Members are developing a campus climate survey that will be distributed at the beginning of the fall semester, followed by focus-group discussions. These are the first concrete steps toward the group’s charge of identifying gender issues impacting faculty, staff and students at NMU and promoting gender equity through programming and policy initiatives. Full Story


NMU Hosts AHEC Regional Center

The Michigan Area Health Education Center has launched its Upper Peninsula Regional Center, with NMU as the host partner. According to a press release, Michigan AHEC was established by Wayne State University in 2010. Its purpose is to enhance access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventive care, by improving the supply and distribution of health care professionals through community and educational partnerships. Through a statewide network of regional centers, Michigan AHEC prepares underrepresented and disadvantaged youth for health care careers, promotes clinical training opportunities for students in shortage areas and provides continuing education programs for health professionals. Congress created the national AHEC program in 1971. Full Story


Playwriting Award Winner Announced

A Paper Tiger in the Rain by David J. Swanson (pictured) was selected from more than 150 entries as the winner of the Albert and Mildred Panowski Playwriting Award at Northern Michigan University. The competition is held biennially and this year’s theme was the economy.

The play revolves around Nathan, who has just been promoted to editor in chief of the Willow Falls Beacon Telegraph. Nathan learns that the newspaper is in financial trouble. As the situation worsens, he is faced with saving the newspaper while also trying to win the heart of his newly widowed former flame. Before it’s over, a young blogger named Ben helps Nathan through a painful lesson about waiting for impossible dreams and depending on false promises. Full Story


One Book Selection Unveiled

The NMU/Marquette County One Book One Community 2014 selection is Detroit: An American Autopsy by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Charlie LeDuff. NMU community members are invited to read and discuss the book. A number of related service, academic and entertainment events are being planned for the fall.

Here is a description of Detroit: "Back in his broken hometown, LeDuff searches through the ruins for clues to its fate, his family's and his own. Once the vanguard of America's machine age--mass production, blue-collar jobs, and automobiles--Detroit is now America's capital for unemployment, illiteracy, dropouts and foreclosures. While redemption is thin on the ground in this ghost of a city, Detroit: An American Autopsy is no hopeless parable. With steel-eyed reporting and righteous indignation, LeDuff shares an unbelievable, true story of a hard town in a rough time filled with some of the strangest and strongest people our country has to offer. Detroit is a dark comedy of the absurdity of American life in the 21st century, a deeply human drama of colossal greed and endurance, ignorance and courage."

Hope Starts Here May 10

The Upper Michigan Brain Tumor Center is hosting the Hope Starts Here Challenge on Saturday, May 10. The annual event raises funds for advocacy, education and research programs at the center, a cooperative effort between NMU and Marquette General Health System—a Duke LifePoint Hospital. May is National Brain Tumor Month. Last year's challenge attracted more than 600 participants.

There are four competitive events: half marathon, duathlon (run and mountain bike), 10K and 5K. A non-competitive leisure walk and short bike ride will also be held. Registration is $35 in advance or $40 the day of the event. New this year is a pre-event expo from 5-7 p.m. Friday, May 9, in the MGH north lobby. Pre-registered participants may pick up their t-shirts, bibs and lunch tickets at the expo.

The Hope Starts Here Challenge coincides with National Brain Tumor Month in May. For more information, or to register for the events, visit


Marek Haltof’s (English) hometown of Cieszyn, Poland, is two hours by train from the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and State Museum. More than 1.1 million lost their lives at the former concentration camp, including Polish political prisoners and Jews later transported there under the Nazi extermination plan. What remains of the site has been preserved as an authentic symbol of the Holocaust and a moving tribute to those who succumbed to or survived atrocities committed there.

One Auschwitz survivor, Wanda Jakubowska, directed what is arguably “the mother of all Holocaust films.” The Last Stage is a dramatization of her experience. It also incorporates stories she collected from fellow prisoners, some of whom returned to Auschwitz as actors when the film was shot on location after World War II. As part of his 2014 NMU Peter White Scholar Award, Haltof will complete his book about Jakubowska’s defining film. Full Story